I feel like I often fall short when it comes to posting about significant Catholic Days and celebrations. It’s not that I am shying away from my Faith or fear exposing us as devout Catholics, it’s that we are so busy preparing for such days, that I often don’t have time to sit down and write anything! But this week is such a significant one for Catholics, and I am fresh from a Catholic Conference, and so very filled with joy and love for my Faith, I thought I would talk a little about it today.
Let me start this post by saying that yes we are devout Catholics in every sense. I hope that doesn’t change your view of me, if anything I hope it opens your eyes! There are many many families and women who are devout in their Faith, but perhaps by looking at them, or seeing them on social media, you may not even realize it. We are just regular people, we play videos games and sports, watch all different types of movies and tv shows, we like to buy nice clothes and things for our homes and take shameless selfies just like you! But we also attend Mass regularly, follow the Church’s teachings as best we can, and trust in Gods plan for us. We pray for our families and friends and the entire world, we read the Bible and learn about different Saints, we get down on our knees not just in times of need, but to give thanks for what we have been given. We teach our children about their Faith, and know how important our role in their learning about it is. But most importantly, we do not judge you for your choices, and ask that you do not judge us for ours. Our Faith is everything to us, but at the same time there is so much more to us.
Judgement on Catholics can be a tough thing to take. I honestly don’t care what people think of me, but when the comments are said to my face, or people make assumptions about me solely based on the fact that I am Catholic, that’s when it stings. It’s not easy living in a world that is becoming more secular by the minute. I’m not trying to play the victim at all, because there are many places in the world where it is nearly impossible to be a Catholic. Instead I want to share, in case any of you are also struggling with this, a way to make things better, and let you know you aren’t alone.
There is so much talk about “finding your tribe”, and I’ve found mine. I found an incredible group of women, at all different stages of life and from all different walks of life, but we all share something in common: We love Jesus and are proud to be Catholic. And when you live in North America, where inclusiveness and free speech is demanded, but only ever given to those those with the same secular beliefs, its such a refreshing thing to be with so many strong Catholic women.
I didn’t know that such women existed until I attended my first Dynamic Women of Faith Conference way back in 2013. Honestly, I even had a stereotype in my head about what the Catholic family was and what a Catholic woman was, in the same way so many people now make assumptions about me. But I was wrong! Each year that I have attended this conference I have met more women who are just like you, just like any other woman in an office, at her kids sports practice, in a board room, or at home with a baby. Regular women, from all walks of life, with very busy schedules, but that also see the importance of their Faith, especially during Lent, and have taken the time to focus just a little more on growing their Faith. Devout Catholic women aren’t just the little old ladies praying the Rosary before Mass, or aggressive ones in your face all the time telling you how to live. We are just regular people, trying to be happy and full of joy and share God message that way.
Over the years of attending this conference, writing for their blogs, starting a Catholic Mothers Group at my own Parish, giving my testimony at a Dynamic Women of Faith Breakfast Conference, standing up in front of hundreds of Parishioners to talk to them about the importance of Mothers and taking time for ourselves to grow our own Faith, I feel that I have truly found my vocation. Who would have thought that such a shy and anxious child, a non-Catholic nonetheless, could grow into this? Well, obviously He did, but I sure didn’t. I always wanted to be a mother, little did I know that part of that incredible vocation would become ministering to other Catholic mothers, and being part of such an incredible group of dynamic women. I truly am blessed to have found this Ministry and to have become a part of it leading my own Mothers Group each month.
This years Conference was held this past Saturday, with it being held so close to Holy Week, it has completely filled me with joy and a renewed love for being a Catholic woman. Over 300 women gave up their Saturday, to sit and listen to incredible speakers, listen to testimonies, to pray and sing together. We also laughed and cried, chatted with old friends and made new ones, shopped and ate delicious food, and yes we even took selfies!
Holy Week and Easter hold a very special place in my heart, because I was Baptized and Confirmed as a Catholic at the Easter Vigil Mass in 2009. And today being Holy Thursday and tomorrow Good Friday, not only are millions and millions of Catholics and Christians waiting and bracing for Jesus’s Crucifixion, but many are preparing to become Catholic. I want all those men and women to be proud of their Faith. I want them to be confident to stand up and say that they wanted to be a Catholic, and they are so happy with that decision.
This Holy Week, I am praying that the stereotype of what so many people think a devout Catholic is, is broken. I hope this post helps to do that, whether you are a Catholic or Christian looking for other women like you, or have yet to find Jesus and have a negative view towards others.
Take a look at my Instagram feed, I post about the same things that everyone does. This blog isn’t solely about my Faith, I try hard not to shove it down people’s throats, but instead try to evangelize in subtle ways. To be a happy and joy filled mother so that when people ask me how I manage it all, my response can be “Lots of coffee, prayers and our Lord’s grace!”. While I struggle with being too Catholic for most, and not Catholic enough for others, I pray we can all just stop judging each other and get along, especially this week. And if you are looking to meet with other Catholic Mothers, feel free to visit this site to see if there is a Catholics Mothers Group near you.
I hope you all have a blessed Holy Week and Easter. May your Easter baskets be filled with lots of chocolate and your hearts filled with lots of joy once He is Risen!